CEFR - IELTS & Cambridge ESOL table

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Listening skills. Reading skills. Speaking skills. Writing skills. Cambridge ESOL. Main Suite. &. CELS exams. Cambridge. Business. &. Children's exams. IELTS.

Council of Europe standards: what your language level means (PL September 2010 based on an idea from PK, BC Ukraine)


A1 Breakthrough

A2 Waystage

B1 Threshold

B2 Vantage

C1 Effective Proficiency

Listening skills

Reading skills

Speaking skills

Writing skills

You can understand familiar words and phrases about yourself, your family, and concrete situations you know well.

You can understand familiar words and sentences, for example on notices and posters.

You can interact in a simple way if the other persons speak slowly and repeat themselves. You can ask and answer simple questions and can use simple sentences to describe people you know, etc. You can communicate in simple and routine tasks. You can manage simple social exchanges. You can describe your educational background and your present or most recent job. You can manage in most travel situations. You can join in discussions without preparation if the topic is familiar. You can give reasons and explanations, and can narrate an event. You can interact quite fluently and spontaneously, and take an active part in discussions on familiar topics. You can give detailed descriptions, and explain opinions quite precisely. You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously. You can explain and justify opinions precisely and relate them to the contributions of others.

You can write a short postcard. You can fill in a form with personal details.

You can understand sentences about familiar topics if they contain high frequency vocabulary. You can catch the main point in simple announcements.

You can read short, simple texts. You can find specific information you need in everyday materials such as advertisements, menus, etc.

You can understand the main points when listening to a native speaker if the topic is familiar. This includes listening to radio or television.

You can understand texts, which contain high frequency or job-related vocabulary. You can understand descriptions of feelings or wishes.

You can understand lectures if the topic is familiar. You can understand the news on television reasonably well.

You can read reports or articles, which express opinions or attitudes.

You can understand extended speech, even when it is not clearly structured. You can understand most television programmes.

You can understand complex factual and literary texts. You can understand specialised articles on unfamiliar topics.

You have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language.

You can read any form of written language with ease, including technical or literary matter.

Cambridge ESOL Main Suite & CELS exams

Cambridge Business & Children’s exams Young Learners (YLE) Starters

Young Learners (YLE) Movers You can write simple notes and messages. You can write a simple personal letter.

You can write a short connected text on a familiar topic. You can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.

IELTS bands



BULATS 0 Key (KET) / Key (KET) for Schools

Preliminary (PET) / Preliminary (PET) for Schools

Young Learners (YLE) Flyers




BEC Preliminary

4.5 5.0

You can write clear, detailed texts on familiar topics. You can write an essay or a report, and give reasons in support of an argument.

BULATS 60 5.5 First (FCE) / First (FCE) for Schools


6.0 6.5

You can express yourself in clear, well-structured text. You can write about complex subjects in different styles.

BULATS 75 7.0 Advanced (CAE)


7.5 8.0


You can take part You can present a case, effortlessly in any whether general or Mastery Proficiency (CPE) conversation. You can specialised, which helps the present clear, smoothreader notice and flowing descriptions. remember significant points. • The IELTS bands are is based upon a growing body of research, as well as on long established experience and feedback from test stakeholders. • No direct correlation between Cambridge ESOL and IELTS can be made as the examinations are very different in design, purpose and format. The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.

BULATS 90 8.0+